Thanks to Rotterdam's rich history and lively culture, expats will have plenty of things to see and do in their new city. From museums, galleries and churches, to abseiling, zoos and boat tours, Rotterdam has much to offer.
Here are some of the must-see tourist attractions in the city.
Recommended attractions in Rotterdam
One of the most photographed buildings in Rotterdam, expats and tourists alike should definitely stop by the cube houses. A famous instance of creative Rotterdam architecture, the cube houses are experimental living spaces designed by Piet Blom in the 1970s. Constructed on top of a pedestrian bridge, each house has diagonal walls, giving it the appearance of a cube shape. Today, some of the cubes have been converted into hostels while others still have full-time occupants. One cube is used as a 'show cube', allowing visitors to tour the interior of a cube house.
The iconic Erasmusbrug can't be missed in Rotterdam. Erasmusbrug connects the northern and southern areas and suburbs of the city and is said to be the second largest bridge in the Netherlands
This 606ft (185m) tower is the tallest building in the Netherlands. It offers stunning panoramic views of Rotterdam and there are hotel suites available for those wishing to spend a night above the city. The tower has a coffee shop and a revolving restaurant, and guests can even enjoy a traditional high tea. If that sounds a bit tame, adventurous expats may enjoy abseiling or ziplining from the top of the tower.
Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk
During WWII, the medieval centre of Rotterdam was completely demolished by the Rotterdam Blitz bombing. In the wake of the bombing, only one building remained standing, though seriously damaged: Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk, a church built in the 15th century. After the war, extensive restorations took place and today the church is not only a beautiful example of Gothic architecture but also a reminder of the city's resilience through past hardships.
Arguably one of the city's best hidden gems, Kralingse Plas is a lake popularly used for water-related sports from rowing and sailing to fishing. In warm summer weather, Kralingse Lake is a local favourite for picnics and simply hanging out.
One of Rotterdam's most distinctive and unique buildings, the Markthal is an 11-storey glass building in the shape of an arch. Beneath the arch is a market hall, where visitors can browse shops and stalls. The inside of the arch is covered from floor to ceiling by an awe-inspiring artwork measuring 11,000 square metres.
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
One of the most popular art galleries is the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, centrally located at the Museumpark. A short walk from the Natural History Museum, Museum Boijmans Van Beuninge offers art enthusiasts the chance to take in its remarkable collection which includes famous pieces by Rembrandt, Vincent van Gogh, Monet and Salvador Dalí. Group visits and guided tours can easily be arranged.
Are you an expat living in Rotterdam?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Rotterdam. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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